If you live in Raleigh, NC and have been wondering whether braces might be a solution to some of your health problems, here’s some information about some of the health issues that can be resolved with braces (orthodontics). Braces are used to treat malocclusion (a bad bite), which can be an inherited condition or the result of thumb-sucking, an accident, or teeth lost to decay. The most obvious sign of malocclusion is crooked or protruding teeth, but the symptoms aren’t always that obvious. Malocclusion can cause a number of health issues, as described below. [Source: https://www.ada.org/prof/resources/pubs/jada/patient/patient_74.pdf]
Raleigh Braces – A solution for headache, facial pain, and neck pain
When the bite is off, the effect can be felt elsewhere, especially if the abnormal bite ends up affecting the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This joint, located on both sides of the head, is one of the most complex in the body. It controls many different motions that include rotational and gliding types of actions that are used when you chew. If your bite interferes with the intended motion of the TMJ, headache, facial pain, or neck pain can be a result. Your dentist can help analyze whether the source of your headaches and neck pain might be a bad bite, or some other issue associated with the joint. If the problem is a bad bite, a dentist with significant orthodontic experience or an orthodontist can properly fit you with braces. [Source: http://www.ada.org/public/topics/tmd_tmj.asp]
Raleigh Braces – Relief from Chewing and Swallowing Difficulties
A bite problem often results in an inability to adequately chew your food, without creating a problem with the TMJ. In some cases, the pain that results from the bad bite can cause someone to electively avoid adequate chewing. Poorly chewed food is difficult to swallow, and may even result in other health problems related to digestion and lack of absorption of nutrients in food.
Raleigh Braces – Overcoming Speech Impairments
Severe cases of malocclusion can result in distorted facial appearance as well as speech impairments, especially slurring. Braces can correct the bite, enabling the person to speak more clearly. Speech therapy may also be in order, teaching the person how to correctly form words, once the capability exists. Not all speech impairments are related to bite issues; your dentist can help assess your situation and refer you to other specialists as needed.
Raleigh Braces – Controlling Gum Disease and Tooth Decay
Crooked and crowded teeth can make it very difficult for even those most devoted to good oral hygiene to properly clean their teeth. Eventually, this can result in tooth decay, gum disease, or both. Left untreated, either of those can eventually result in tooth loss, which only further reduces the quality of the bite. The loss of a tooth may, with time, allow surrounding teeth to move into improper positions, as well.
What Are the Best Places to Look for Raleigh Braces?
Many people believe that you must go to an orthodontist for braces. However, there are dentists who have invested additional time in learning how to fit braces with great skill and precision. Today, it is possible to receive a broad spectrum of dental services, including orthodontics, under the same roof where you receive your regular dental care. These dentists offer not only convenience, but also long-term monitoring of the health and even minor changes in tooth positions.
The Many Types and Colors of Raleigh Braces
The varieties and colors of braces today are many. They can be made to be noticeable by choice – displaying school colors, for example. Some even glow in the dark. The brackets that hold the braces in place can be made of metal, plastic, ceramic, or some combination of those materials. A new alternative to traditional braces, sometimes called “invisible” braces, are actually a series of customized appliances that are clear and removable. The series is used to progressively align the teeth, and are usually best suited for adults and situations where substantial movement is not required. A distinct advantage of these appliances is the ability to remove them while eating and so that they don’t interfere with dental hygiene. [Sources: http://www.ada.org/public/topics/braces_faq.asp, http://www.agd.org/public/oralhealth/Default.asp?IssID=322&Topic=O&ArtID=1304]
Raleigh Braces – Who’s Wearing Them?
More and more adults are wearing braces. Some adults are wearing braces for modest cosmetic refinements, while others are seeking out the treatment not made available to them in their youth. They may be seeking improved oral health in general or relief from some of the specific painful conditions listed above. Treatments for adults may take longer than they do for teenagers – often ranging between 18 months to three years.
The advantages to earlier treatment include shorter treatment periods and longer-term quality of oral health. Problems with the bite usually become noticeable in children between 6 and 12 years of age, with treatment beginning between 8 and 14 years of age. If your dentist has received special training in orthodontics, it is easy for the natural monitoring of orthodontic needs to occur during regular checkups. Assessments should begin around age 7 – while there is a mix of primary (baby) teeth and permanent (adult) teeth, rather than waiting for all permanent teeth to emerge. [Sources: http://www.ada.org/public/topics/braces_faq.asp, http://www.agd.org/public/oralhealth/Default.asp?IssID=322&Topic=O&ArtID=1303]